Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    One can argue that the Romulans violated the Neutral Zone first, back in "Balance of Terror," destroying several Starfleet outposts and killing numerous Federation citizens. And how was the Federation to know that the Romulans hadn't worked the kinks out of the cloaking device since. Again, was Starfleet supposed to just sit back and hope for the best?

    To their credit, Starfleet showed great restraint by not retaliating immediately after the attacks in "Balance of Terror." Slipping past the Neutral Zone to steal some dangerous new technology from a known threat strikes me as a relatively measured and prudent response. And don't forget, this was back in the sixties when spy stories were the rage.

    "Mission: Impossible" used to do this sort of thing every week! :)
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, you did. My apologies, sir.

    --Sran
     
  3. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You make some good points about the events of BoT. McCoy seemed to think the Romulans were trying to draw the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone to give them an excuse to attack. So, between that and the other Fed members probably saying 'Romulus isn't OUR enemy!'...I think a military response was off the table. So I think you're right about the events of Enterprise Incident being a reasonable response. They also got bonus intelligence in confirming that the Romulans had Klingon technology.

    From the Romulans perspective, (In Balance of Terror) their 'finest flagship' just never came back from its mission. Which gave them the answer they wanted as to whether or not the Federation (or Earth, if they don't know about the Feds) was ripe for attack.

    And fwiw, the Feds DID know that the Romulans had a new cloaking device.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  4. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    "For the Uniform." Sisko going and poisoning a whole planet to human life (and perfectly willing to do it to lots of others)? "Red Alert" Worf even hesitated to do it. That in itself is enough for this thread, but we also have the tit-for-tat that Starfleet doesn't usually get involved with.

    And then Sisko gets off without further comment, let alone repercussions.

    I liked it, and think it's justified (and apparently Starfleet does, too), but it was clearly a way to shock the viewers, because this kind of thing doesn't happen in Trek.
     
  5. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Deep Space 9 has always had a different way about it compared to its counterparts. That's probably why it's my favorite Trek series. It pushes boundaries the other series won't even touch, which makes for great character development and compelling storytelling.

    --Sran
     
  6. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "In the Pale Moonlight" is worth seeing for Stephen McHattie's portrayal of Vreenak alone. Compare that to Andrea Katsulas' Admiral Tomulak* in "All Good Things..."

    *He's like that Mexican Bee Guy in Simpsons. "Ay-Yi-Yi Picard!!"

    He fares better in The Defector.
     
  7. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Agree on all counts. It's too bad Vreenak's death was necessary to the plot. I'd have enjoyed his being a recurring character. Maybe there's an MU version out there somewhere.

    --Sran
     
  8. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    DS9 benefited greatly from following straight from TNG: the latter series presented an extraordinarily optimistic outlook that begged to be explored outside the confines of Starfleet culture. Whereas the strength of the show is often ascribed to the complexity of story telling and depth of the characterizations, the setup, the confrontation of people who were not only of different ethnicities, but also of different organizations, allowed for the greatest exploration of ST values.
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see DS9 as being just as optimistic as TNG. Just, less dogmatic in that optimism.

    Now that I think about it, Doctor Bashir I Presume.

    I always hated the idea that people would get blacklisted based on the crimes of their parents. Or, if they did get blacklisted, why don't they get high paying private sector jobs outside the Federation? And then they create one special exception for somebody who just happened to get away with it for long enough and none of the other genetics say "Hey, wait a minute. Why not me then?" They just didn't think that arc through at all.
     
  10. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    That also would have been acceptable.
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    The answers for this sort of thing pretty much exist all throughout history, particularly amongst people who are biracial in areas where that wasn't exactly tolerated. Hiding their identities because they wanted to continue life in their home territories or seek dreams in fields they wanted to trumped "private sector" or moving.

    And I suspect the Admiral in question made the exception knowing it was creating a legal precedent but doing so in a way that rectified the "wrong" of the parents versus the child.
     
  12. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, after reading the responses by other folks, yeah, In The Pale Moonlight. It puts forward the idea of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, via Sisko taking on the sins necessary to win the war.
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Of course, while Sisko is worried about the two guys he murdered (via indirect order), the real victims are the thousands of Romulans who will die.
     
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Something that's never acknowledged following the episode. The Romulans were duped into joining the war effort and fought valiantly alongside their Alpha Quadrant neighbors, never knowing the truth about what Sisko and Garak had done. I've often wondered if members of the Tal Shiar (Koval) suspected the truth but chose not to act because they believed it was necessary to drive the Dominion out of the AQ.

    There's an interesting short story in the TNG anthology book that has Picard traveling to Romulus to deliver Admiral Jarok's letter. Jarok writes in his suicide note that Koval is a fellow patriot who wants what's best for his people. It sheds new light on Koval's decision to aid the Federation by providing high-level intelligence info on his government.

    --Sran
     
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would argue that fewer Romulans died because they joined the war effort.

    Or, it's possible that Romulus would have just surrendered once they were surrounded by the Dominion. But centuries of slavery isn't much better than death.

    What Sisko did is very debatably the right thing to do, but it has nothing to do with Star Trek morality. It's an outright critique of Star Trek morality.
     
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    No doubt. The Dominion would ultimately have overrun them once they finished with the Federation and the Klingons.

    I'd argue that it's worse. What good is the survival of a race if the essence of said race has been lost?

    Bringing the Romulans into the war was the right move. It's how they were brought into it that raises so many questions. In the end, I think they'd have joined the war anyway. The issue is whether it would have happened soon enough to make a difference.

    --Sran
     
  17. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's entirely possible that the average citizen wouldn't even have noticed a difference. Pay your bills, do exactly what they say, and the Dominion won't send in the Jem'Hadar.

    The Founders goals are not to be evil overlords, but to bring order from chaos and to set up mechanisms to protect themselves from solids.

    The real problem for the Klingons and Feds if they lose the war (other than that whole 'let's wipe out Earth's population' thing) is they are going to be the CARDASSIANS and BREEN's subjects. *That* is going to suck.

    Now Romulus does have the problem that they tried to wipe the Founders out (even though they were manipulated into doing so.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In Balance of Terror, after Kirk disabled the Romulan ship, he ceased firing and offered to beam the Romulan survivors aboard the Enterprise.

    In Journey To Babel, after he disabled the Orion ship, he ceased fire and was going to offer the Orions the chance to surrender.

    In Elaan of Troyius, after he partially disabled the Klingon ship, he ceased fire and allowed it to withdraw.

    In each of these examples, Kirk was willing to destroy the ships and kill their crews while in combat, but once the ships were rendered disabled, combat was over.

    Kirk could have easily killed the Gorn on it's back, killed Khan unconscious on the floor in engineering, the same story with the wounded Horta. James Kirk possesses mercy.

    I wouldn't. Picard actions in not destroying the Borg (assuming it would have worked) are immoral and indefensible. Subsequent to that episode, the Borg went on the kill, enslave/assimilate and terrorize millions and billions across the galaxy. A vast area in the delta quadrant would have been freed of them. The invasive program would have taken down the Borg collective network, and while no doubt many Borg would have died, others of the many billions of Borg would have found themselves freed.

    As Starfleet would later inform him, Picard's actions were wrong.

    What I've always found interesting about this episode (in terms of the prime directive) is the scene in Picard's quarters where we find that of the top six officers aboard the Enterprise, none of them agree as to what the prime directive means, how it should be applied, and two of the officers don't believe it should apply to primitive cultures in need a all. At least not the primitive culture in the episode.

    In the end, Picard briefly transforms into James Kirk, he helps the primitives in such a way that they don't realize that a technologically advanced culture had helped them. Despite what the PD says, Picard doesn't just stand to the side and watch them die.

    Tuvix was nothing more than a merging of Tuvok and Neelix, and not a original life-form. When the composite being was separated back into it's two original forms, the composite's memories apparently lived on in both Tuvok and Neelix. There was no surprise on their faces when they materialized in sickbay, they remembered the activities of Tuvix, just as Tuvix temporarily retained both of their memories.

    There was no "death" of Tuvix.

    :)
     
  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    It wouldn't have worked as we later found out.
     
  20. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starfleet saying Picard was wrong doesn't make it wrong. Picard did the right thing in not making a snap judgement to commit genocide.

    Also, why would millions of drones find themselves free? What if it killed every single one of the trillion drones in the galaxy?

    Who knows? Maybe Janeway destroying the Borg complex freed one trillion drones that would have been dead had Picard proceeded.

    edit: In reading the synopsis for "I, Borg"...I am reminded that it was Picard's idea.